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Old 07-13-2020, 09:28 PM
J. R. WEEMS J. R. WEEMS is offline
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Question RCBS

Please excuse my ignorance, but what is it with the RCBS 'COWBOY' dies??? Are they carbide?? and whats so special about them. I have a set of Lee dies in .38S&W, and they work fine, but saw a set by RCBS offered and wondered if they were an improvement over the Lee's, although I dont see how this might be the case.?? Anyone?? THANKS!!
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Old 07-13-2020, 09:41 PM
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Cowboy dies are dimensioned specificaly for soft lead bullets
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Old 07-14-2020, 12:46 AM
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They also have a suitable mouth expansion die for cast bullets.

(The look good too lol)
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Old 07-14-2020, 08:01 AM
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Their second is like a Lyman "M" die in the golden cowboy sets. But the price is WOW!

Many dies are better than Lee 38 S&W dies! Lee uses a 38 Super sizing die that is a straight wall design. Lyman and RCBS use the proper taper design, to fit you guns chamber better!

Ivan
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Old 07-14-2020, 08:41 AM
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I think Lyman uses the same FL sizer in both their 38S&W & 38Super die sets. Most likely the 38Super FL sizer.
Their sets are marked for use in loading either caliber.

I really don't see any problem with that. The 38Super is a straight, non- tapered case. The 38S&W tapers something like a .001".
Standard variations in brass and chamber dimensions will often show more than that.

But I realize a lot of people want the correct one.

My Lee 38S&W dies have worked just fine for yrs.
But they're not color case hardened, didn't come in an ol'west style cardboard box.
But it did have a shell holder.

It's nice to have options. It's your dollars.
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Old 07-14-2020, 08:52 AM
Ivan the Butcher Ivan the Butcher is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2152hq View Post
I think Lyman uses the same FL sizer in both their 38S&W & 38Super die sets. Most likely the 38Super FL sizer.
Their sets are marked for use in loading either caliber.

I really don't see any problem with that. The 38Super is a straight, non- tapered case. The 38S&W tapers something like a .001".
Standard variations in brass and chamber dimensions will often show more than that.

But I realize a lot of people want the correct one.

My Lee 38S&W dies have worked just fine for yrs.
But they're not color case hardened, didn't come in an ol'west style cardboard box.
But it did have a shell holder.

It's nice to have options. It's your dollars.
My old Lyman "All American" die set from the 60's and 70's were tapered for 38 S&W. and made very accurate ammo!

Ivan
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Old 07-14-2020, 03:03 PM
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Somewhere betw then and now is the Old Quality Lyman Co ,,,and the New Lyman Co I guess.
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Old 07-14-2020, 03:28 PM
J. R. WEEMS J. R. WEEMS is offline
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Thumbs up DIES

All well said-- I guess my point is, I want what will make the BEST ammo, not just do. I did have a lot of trouble in the beginning with these dies but allowed it was operator error The COWBOY dies are double what the Lee dies were and I dont know if they are carbide. The other RCBS set is unknown to me THANKS for all the information.
My bullet of choice at this time is the Missouri caoted bullet??

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Old 07-14-2020, 03:31 PM
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My fairly modern Lyman carbide set is marked both .38 S&W and .38 Super. Grinding a full case length carbide ring only to get a 0.001" taper would be silly expensive. My RCBS .45 Colt non-carbide set from 1973 has a tapered sizer. That's another cartridge that lost taper in the sizer dies when they were given carbide rings. Even though .45 Colt has more taper few complain.

The one manufacturer that could easily make tapered sizers is Hornady. Their titanium nitrate is applied after machining is complete. Do they?
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Old 07-14-2020, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by k22fan View Post
The one manufacturer that could easily make tapered sizers is Hornady. Their titanium nitrate is applied after machining is complete. Do they?
I talked on the phone with Steve Hornady one morning back in the 80's and their contractor that did the plating was not interested in working that hard! That was the end of that, Until I was in CH-4D dies in Mt. Vernon. Completely plated Titanium Nitrate dies are a regular option from their custom shop! (as is any diameter and thread pitch you need to fit that oddball press!)

But since "The War on Terror" started their custom shop is on a several year back log with government contracts.

In short it takes 5 plus plating's to plate the inside of a reloading die with TiNt! That sounds like a lot of work, but is actually about 45 minutes.

Ivan
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Old 07-14-2020, 06:51 PM
J. R. WEEMS J. R. WEEMS is offline
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Lightbulb 38 S&W

Well I do know a box of 38 S&W, Winchester, old at that, does have a significant roll crimp. New Remingtion stuff the same, but not so much so. As expensive as the RCBS dies are, they are not carbide and require a bit of lube. No big deal but a required step. Would they make a better round? I just dont know. Redding dies are at least twice the RCBS die set, and I believe are not carbide. Again, just wondering what would make the best end product. Hornady is just not available, so far and again, the price is right up there, which wouldnt matter IF they were the best. I do however keep reminding myself this is not really a precision target round.
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Old 07-14-2020, 07:48 PM
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I have a set of RCBS "Cowboy" dies that I use to load .38 S&W. They do a great job. I have compared my loads to some rounds from 1905 and they appear identical except for being bright and shiny. They are also quite accurate. They are made to use with lead bullets and will do a very nice roll crimp.
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Old 07-14-2020, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Rambler42 View Post
I have a set of RCBS "Cowboy" dies that I use to load .38 S&W. They do a great job. I have compared my loads to some rounds from 1905 and they appear identical except for being bright and shiny. They are also quite accurate. They are made to use with lead bullets and will do a very nice roll crimp.
Can coated bullets achieve the same results?? Got a number or code for that set of RCBS dies?
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Old 07-16-2020, 06:31 PM
J. R. WEEMS J. R. WEEMS is offline
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Thumbs up COWBOY DIES

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Originally Posted by Rambler42 View Post
I have a set of RCBS "Cowboy" dies that I use to load .38 S&W. They do a great job. I have compared my loads to some rounds from 1905 and they appear identical except for being bright and shiny. They are also quite accurate. They are made to use with lead bullets and will do a very nice roll crimp.
Rambler, just because I could, a set of RCBS dies will be here in a couple days. (MONDAY) Thanks for your input. If the new dies product will not fit my 1920 guns, for whatever reason then the Lee dies will remain in service. I just want the best for this gun I can make. of another one that might come my way. Since you load this Rambler, please allow me to ask this question. My powder charge of 2.3gn's of W231 leaves a bit of unburned powder with a WSP primer. any way away from that?? less of a charge would seem a bit skimpy, if not prudent so maybe CCI primers, or small magnum primers or is it a moot point?? THANKS for your time.

1940, first shipment lend lease, never issued and made it back with no proof marks.

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Old 07-16-2020, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J. R. WEEMS View Post
Can coated bullets achieve the same results?? Got a number or code for that set of RCBS dies?
I think the RCBS Cowboy .38 S&W part number is 20351 but double check that.
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Old 07-18-2020, 10:51 AM
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Yes Sir;

lots of new dies and styles to set up in todays times......
it is not any thing like what we had to use back in the 1960's !!

Today's loaders are spoiled rotten.
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Old 07-18-2020, 12:20 PM
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All I know is I was recently shopping for a set of .44 Russian dies. Google took me to a site with those RCBS Cowboy dies. Holy Schenk!! They were more than DOUBLE the cost of their regular dies! All of them over $100! Although I am a confirmed RCBS fanboy (for their regular reloading gear) I wound up with a set of Lee dies for a far more reasonable $30.
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Old 07-18-2020, 03:21 PM
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Lightbulb DIES & LOADS

Well my new set will be here Monday Everything ready to load. Redding dies for the .38 S&W are over $200.00 probably a special order. On a Whim, I just got out the ammo I have and took measurements.
Winchester Western: Mine are a bit longer but except for case mouth bullet diameter (mine are a tad bigger) all other measurements match. No roll crimp here ??

Remingtons new 'WHEEL GUN' offerings are pretty much off a bit, all the way around.

When the new dies arrive, I will endeavor to match the WESTERN offering (WHITE BOX? date) in every way I can. If able to do so I am hoping the end result will fit every gun, and be right on target. We shall see. This box of ammo came with one of the 1920 gun, along with a 'Hunter' holster-- two rounds missing from the box-- I have not fired any of them.
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Old 07-18-2020, 05:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J. R. WEEMS View Post
Well my new set will be here Monday Everything ready to load. Redding dies for the .38 S&W are over $200.00 probably a special order. On a Whim, I just got out the ammo I have and took measurements.
Winchester Western: Mine are a bit longer but except for case mouth bullet diameter (mine are a tad bigger) all other measurements match. No roll crimp here ??

Remingtons new 'WHEEL GUN' offerings are pretty much off a bit, all the way around.

When the new dies arrive, I will endeavor to match the WESTERN offering (WHITE BOX? date) in every way I can. If able to do so I am hoping the end result will fit every gun, and be right on target. We shall see. This box of ammo came with one of the 1920 gun, along with a 'Hunter' holster-- two rounds missing from the box-- I have not fired any of them.



I will pretty much "bet" that all other things being equal, you will not be able to tell any difference, nor shoot any better with the 38 ammo made with the Lee Dies and the RCBS Cowboy Dies.
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Old 07-18-2020, 07:49 PM
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Forgive me for being a negative old man...BUT.... I reload for MANY calibers in handgun and rifle. I've been using the same old RCBS dies (carbide and regular) for 50 years. I truly believe that there is no reason to change. In fact, my thinking is that unless these companies can convince you that they have something better than the stuff you already have, they would have very little new revenue. Sorta like fashion: it's gonna be straight leg or belled bottom, wide ties or narrow, and what about $400 pair of sneakers...(?). Just my humble opinion.....
Striving for mediocrity,
J.

Last edited by Johnnu2; 07-22-2020 at 08:32 AM.
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Old 07-21-2020, 08:56 PM
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Lightbulb RESULTS

Well the dies are here and a bx loaded. The range will of course tell the tale. THANKS for ALL input, no matter what. I have found the RCBS dies adjustments somewhat finer than the Lee and other than a little roll crimp things are pretty much the same. You cant be sure if you dont know and dont try. Are we getting bored yet with all this and the weather?? Maybe so,
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Old 07-22-2020, 08:47 AM
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JRW.... don't forget to let us know your thoughts after your range testing.... This is an interesting experiment... p.s. You made me look; I found a REDDING profile crimp die stashed in my RCBS box 45Colt dies... Evidently, I never used it, but nevertheless.... it's there and it's Redding :-)
J.
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Old 07-22-2020, 03:41 PM
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I don't load a lot of 38 S&W ammo so I was quite content to buy a 3 die Less set and the air very well. I like Lee handgun dies me RCBS rifle dies. For short brass like the 9mm and 45 Auto the Hornady Titanium Nitride FL sizing dies are great. I waited for the few sizing dies to be on sale and bought them for almost half price.
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Old 07-23-2020, 10:19 PM
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Thumbs up RCBS DIES

So far so good on these dies. Range is waiting but life can get in the way. As stated, these dies, at least for me, require a bit of fine tuning but beyond that things are fine. An extra stem was include but no allen wrench or of course no #6 shell holder. No matter there, I have a bunch. Mama is holding a couple of I.O. U.'s for trips to the casino so range is on the short wait list.
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Old 07-23-2020, 10:21 PM
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Thumbs up PROFILE CRIMP

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Originally Posted by Johnnu2 View Post
JRW.... don't forget to let us know your thoughts after your range testing.... This is an interesting experiment... p.s. You made me look; I found a REDDING profile crimp die stashed in my RCBS box 45Colt dies... Evidently, I never used it, but nevertheless.... it's there and it's Redding :-)
J.
Love those dies. I think all my Redding dies have them-- We will see what the RCBS dies do.
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